Day One [beginnings and continuing practices]

You are the expert: curator of meaning and beauty; creator of circumstances; writer of plot twists.

And while you may be in the midst of circumstances that feel foreign or not of your own making — today is Day One, Braveheart.

Mary Oliver poetry / A Hidden Wholeness by Parker J. Palmer

It is my intention to allow my days to be art: a creative practice; an ever-developing skill set; the application of my imagination + the act of being; the choice of seeking & noticing within the mundane to create my “masterpiece” on the canvas of 24 hours.

I entered March with this focus: choose to live “divided no more.”

And 100% committed to creating journal-planning pages with living color. Because color is a language all its own.

Color invites boldness and creative cover; it reminds us of Divine promises in the midst of Life’s storms. It creates yellow-brick roads to remind us we have always been {home} — and that painted lines are messy and always overlap.

My life divide wasn’t severe, simply some messy overlap from past expectations; hopes that led to a bit of delusion and habits that denied truth.

page view: The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman

There was uncertainty. I had questions; I had decisions that needed to be executed and followed through, new choices to evaluate.

Initially March felt as if I was coming out of hibernation, sluggish and unsure. My timeline for February hadn’t manifested; I continued to feel as if I was in a downward spiral physically due to MS.

I knew there were no certain routes — but I also knew the only way out was through.

my embellished cover art for Module 4, “Quarter Planning”

I knew I could begin to reclaim and recalibrate my first quarter plans into the second quarter. I am familiar with the physical and emotional contradictions I repeatedly face, so I simply honored my creative process.

I wouldn’t waste time looking back; I vented on my journal-planner pages and buried my words in color:

  • March morning pages started with hand-written vents and blurts of angst and emotion; I would then collage and paint over what I wrote as an act of self-compassion, mourning and acceptance.


… the same pitfalls [are always] waiting for you. The trouble lies in believing one can settle these things once and for all. -Anne Morrow Lindbergh

PROMPT: Set a timer for 3-minutes and compile a word list of your answers to … 

What do I keep expecting to be different? How is my expectation blocking me from moving on?

  • Revisit this prompt during the weekend; adding to your answers as words come. Consider how you are honoring what is {essential} for you. Are there limits hindering your willingness to face forward and move on?

What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. -Anna Quindlen

March journal-planner stack

Creative systems facilitate doing what you must until you can do more of what you choose. This is my current journal-planner stack, from bottom to top:

✔ 2017 annual journal-planner (RBP) monthly entries
✔ 2017 business journal-planner (dated) daily/weekly entries
✔ 2017 altered book/The Basic Tools (RBP) monthly entries
✔ 2017 – 1st quarter journal-planner (RBP) weekly entries
✔ studio journal (project ideas & notes) add to when inspiration comes
✔ personal weekly log (Moleskine) a two-page spread weekly
✔ daily work log/bullet journal (Moleskine) mostly daily entries
✔ two-year calendar (necessary motivation) helped me envision “more”
✔ dated, weekly business log (Moleskine) entries on Sundays
✔ altered book journal (ongoing since 2002; started reading it when I had cancer; altering it periodically through illness/MS that followed cancer; collaged notes to myself when I feel overwhelmed by my physical/emotional state)
✔ art journal for my granddaughter (a shared journal in which we both create pages + I write periodic love notes for her read when we visit; the journal will ultimately be hers to keep)

What must you do in order to face forward?

What does your creative system include?


Journal-planning is a practice of intention; it is a promise to your-self to dedicate time and space for personal discovery and creative noting of what is important to you.

  • Ideas, instructional content + templates to inspire/equip you to live more of what matters to you: Modules [themed guides and à la carte elements for customizing your journal-planning process]

Braveheart, I believe art heals — and that art is as simple as abiding outdoors with the morning sky or jotting lists or having a favorite color. I created Right Brain Planner® because I needed a "planner" that offered space but didn't trigger my daily expectations. I needed a planner that was a journal — a place to creatively document my {living} + collect my blurts and random collage. Perhaps you are in need of the same? If so, I hope you will join me via our shared online connections. ♥